The biggest event on the ad-tech calendar, Dmexco, will go on this year, albeit with some changes.
The ad-tech conference will be hybridized as a physical and digital event, according to Gerald Böse, CEO of the host venue Koelnmesse, in a Monday interview with German trade publication Horizont.
The physical event will take place as planned in at the Koelnmesse exposition center in Cologne, Germany as scheduled on Sept. 23-24, but with added health and safety measures due to the coronavirus pandemic. The digital experience, which Böse said still allows for networking, will happen within the Dmexco app.
A Dmexco spokesperson provided nitronet with an English translation of Böse’s interview. “We already know, of course, that many international exhibitors, speakers and visitors, in particular, will not be able to attend the event, although they would like to,” he said. “Therefore, we will enable all members of the Dmexco community to participate digitally in Dmexco and to do business from home, in the office or on their mobile phones.”
Notable industry events in Europe, such as Cannes Lions and the International Broadcasting Convention, have already been canceled in light of the pandemic, which has drastically curtailed global travel and made large gatherings a dubious proposition.
However, the German government has begun reopening businesses, including trade fairs and restaurants, which makes Dmexco and any after-hour networking still a possibility. Despite that, many companies based outside of Germany told nitronet they had little desire to attend Dmexco and expected the event to be canceled since fewer face-to-face meetings due to low turnout diminishes the value of the event.
Böse said the Dmexco app will be a “fully integrated digital event platform” where attendees and exhibitors can listen to speakers and “have the opportunity to get in touch with each other, exchange ideas live and … make business–whether in one-to-one discussions or in small meetings.”
More details around both the physical and digital activations will be made available by mid-June. Böse did say there would be an “all-in package” for exhibitors in order to reduce the financial and logistical efforts required to have a presence at Dmexco.
There will also be additional health and safety protocols before arrival, such as online-only ticketing, along with measures at the venue including entrance controls to manage the number of people and avoid queuing.
“We will use the flexibility and size of our site, as well as the possibilities of our digital guidance systems and even more advanced technical monitoring, to prevent too large crowds of people before they can even develop,” Böse said.